This certification program in most states requires that the student already have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. Teaching, counseling , special education, etc., are all examples of the types of Bachelor’s degrees that are accepted and expected prior to enrollment. The courses include three to five classroom courses, depending on the state and the college where it’s taken and a single practicum. All aspects must be completed in order to receive certification.
For parents who are eligible and already have some experience with an autistic child in their home, this certification can really make a big impact on how to work out all the daily challenges with less strife. In addition, it can turn a daily situation into a career for those who do not live in the same house as the child with autism but are family. Those holding the certification, like an aunt or cousin, can be hired to work inside the family’s home with the child with autism. In some cases they can even be paid directly by the state government for their duties as a behavioral therapist to the child relative with autism.
Parents are not allowed to bill the state for services rendered onto their own children as behavioral therapists because the government views a parent’s job and responsibilities are already there in the home. Legally, counselors with this certification also may not attend to immediate family members for ethical reasons. In the event that parents divorce, it still isn’t legally allowed if the one parent not present in the home is in any field of medicine or practices mental/ emotional therapy. If any of those careers are not part of the family scene, then the non-custodial parent may act as a behavioral intervention specialist and receive monetary compensation to work with his or her child. It’s a gray area that is a little sticky to maneuver, so parents really need to closely examine the laws governing this in their own states.
Another chance to earn a living and take care of a family member with autism involves getting the certification and then working as classroom aides. They may or may not work directly with their children but can still assist in their care during the day when things get out of hand. The children themselves enjoy having mom or dad around and know that if they are out of line, they will have to work through it at school and again at home.
Money aside, it still makes sense for parents who are able to get a Behavioral Intervention and Autism certification because it will train them on how to deal and how to cope with the stressful challenges they face as parents with autistic children. The course is very thorough, and the parents can immediately put to use at home the techniques they have learned through the course. Since many accredited schools now allow this course to be taken online, parents can also work on it after the children have gone to bed.